Advance Notice: Briefs

AFL-CIO president hosts NAFTA town halls in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania

By: - June 11, 2019 3:24 pm

Former Presidents Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush at the NAFTA kickoff, 1993 | Wikimedia Commons

The president of the nation’s largest labor union announced Tuesday that he will hold a series of town halls about “union members’ struggles under NAFTA, and what working people want to see from the administration’s proposed USMCA [United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement].”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka | Michigan AFL-CIO photo

The AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka will travel to Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan over the course of three days in mid-June to speak with union members as the President Trump administration pushes Congress to ratify his replacement for the much-maligned North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trumka gave the keynote address at the Michigan chapter of the AFL-CIO’s annual nominating convention in May, where he railed against the USMCA, saying it “does nothing to address outsourcing.”

“It’s a repeat of the old NAFTA and fails to stop the hemorrhaging of good-paying American jobs to Mexico,” Trumka said. “The new NAFTA also has no effective way to enforce its rules. It literally allows a party accused of violations to stop a settlement panel. It’d be like giving an accused thief the right to shut down their own trial.”

U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) both recently voiced their opposition to the USMCA as it currently stands, with Levin calling it “not ready for prime time.”

The town halls will be held in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Taylor, Mich., on June 17, 18 and 19, respectively.

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Derek Robertson
Derek Robertson

Derek Robertson is a former reporter for the Advance. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.